Updated: Aug 27, 2019
I learned about Toastmasters and decided to go check it out, it may be a good resource to enhance my speaking. I got to the meeting and was greeted by many members. It was a pleasant greeting which was followed by an extreme hot flash. I'm not sure why it threw me into a flash but I was on fire. As the meeting began and I observed the flow of the meeting, it was very impressive how structured but laid back it was.
As I listened to each speaker, followed by constructive criticism, I realized I was right where I needed to be. The room was filled with people just like me, people who wanted to share their stories and help others. The different prospectives were inspiring. During these meetings you are encouraged to participate but not pressured. I was asked to join in during Table Topics. I was a little hesitant only because there is an "Ah" counter. I know I use filler words but why not let's do it.
I was given the topic of interesting pet stories. I told the story of Theodore, our dumpster dog. If you haven't heard this story, well I'll give you the short version. When Theo was a puppy around eight weeks old, someone threw him in the dumpster. A co-woker of my husbands found him. I was going to give him a bath and find him a forever home. Little did I know, that during the time I was giving him a bath, I would fall in love with this little pup. He had found his forever home, weighing in around 8 lbs. I took him to the vet to get a full check up. They believe he is part golden retriever and either lab or pit. It didn't matter, he was the most laid back, sweetest puppy. We gave him a strong name to make up for his dumpster days, Theodore Dumpy Strahan. As he grew up with our two chihuahuas, he does as they do and thinks he is little. He is not little, he is about 65 lbs of pure golden goodness. Everyone seemed to enjoy my few minutes of speaking.
What I didn't know was during the Toastmaster meeting, they have ballots where the members vote on the best: speaker, evaluator, table topic and so on. The meeting was coming to a close when they started handing out the awards. They got to Table Topics. I was announced as the winner of the "Best Table Topics". As the smile popped on my face, I couldn't stop smiling. This was so exciting! My first visit to this awesome speaking club and they choose me for an award.
Reflections: I love to talk and have been told many times in my life that I talk too much. However, I'm sure I've found my passion, my calling, if you will. I love sharing my experiences with others to help them or just make them laugh. Laughter is a merry medicine.